R-CALF USA to Host 16th Annual Convention in Denver
Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA, the nation’s largest producer-only, national cattle trade association, will hold its 16th annual convention and membership meeting August 14-15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado, at the Holiday Inn Denver East-Stapleton located at 3333 Quebec St.
One of R-CALF USA’s earliest issues, mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL), remains a flagship issue for the group. Ironically, R-CALF USA is the only national cattle trade association that has not compromised on COOL. The group continues to steadfastly support mandatory COOL.
At its convention, the group intends to further strengthen its national strategy for preserving the U.S. COOL law in the wake of recent efforts by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Congress, and the nation’s two largest general farm organizations to eliminate mandatory COOL.
Recent news reports indicate that packers are building relationships with Brazilian exporters so they can begin shipping fresh beef from Brazil, where cattle prices are reported to be one-half of U.S. cattle prices. Like Argentina, Brazil is a country that vaccinates for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) because the live FMD virus is known to exist within its borders.
R-CALF USA President Bryan Hanson said, “Without mandatory COOL, U.S. packers can cut and repackage imported Brazilian beef and the only origin label those imports will receive when they land on our grocery store shelves is a big, bold U.S. inspection sticker.
“Guess which country consumers will think that Brazilian beef came from?” he asked.
J. Dudley Butler, former U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) Administrator and R-CALF USA’s co-counsel in the group’s successful defense of COOL in U.S. federal court, will help the group formulate their new, national strategies for defending mandatory COOL, stopping the ongoing abuses to the national beef checkoff program, and restoring competition through enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act.
As independent cattlemen and landowners, R-CALF USA members have a keen interest in preserving private property rights. Renowned private property rights expert and Director of the Natural Resources Law & Policy Research LAWUSA, Dr. Angus McIntosh, will assist attendees in understanding what landowners must do to prevent further erosions of their right to enjoy and use their property.
Back by popular demand will be the President of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA), Brian O’Shaughnessy, who also is Chairman of Revere Copper Products, Inc. (Revere Copper). Revere Copper is the oldest basic manufacturing firm in America and was started by a loan made by the U.S. Navy to Paul Revere in 1801 to affix copper sheathing onto “Old Ironsides” and other naval vessels. Under O’Shaughnessy’s leadership, the CPA built a formidable coalition in opposition to Congress’ grant of Fast Track authority to the U.S. President. Fast Track narrowly passed Congress and did so only because President Obama and GOP leaders engaged in extraordinary arm-twisting tactics to buy votes. O’Shaughnessy is now focused on defeating the Trans Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP) unless major changes are first made to the agreement.
A new phenomenon impacting independent cattle producers is the aggressive campaign by industrial agriculturalists to deceive the public by using wholesome images of family farmers and ranchers to mask their mega-corporate identities. These mega-corporatists are simultaneously capturing market outlets away from independent cattle producers under the guise of achieving sustainability. This new phenomenon, known as the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) was first unveiled during the group’s convention last year by Wyoming rancher an attorney Tracy Hunt. Hunt has been invited to inform this year’s attendees about his newest research into the GRSB labyrinth.
R-CALF USA Organizational Activities Director Laurel Masterson said the issues impacting the U.S. cattle industry right now are so profound that their outcomes will determine the success of independent producers for years to come.
“Given the importance of today’s issues, this could be the most important R-CALF USA convention ever,” said Masterson.
“We cordially invite all our members to attend this year’s convention and we welcome new members that join R-CALF USA at our convention’s registration,” she added.
Registration for R-CALF USA’s convention begins at 7:00 a.m. and trade show booth spaces are still available. For more information call 405-252-2516 or visit the group’s website at r-calfusa.com and click on “events.”